Gerhard Jenne tries to contain his excitement about Christmas and looks to the new year with optimism.

I’m hoping that all bakers and cake-makers up and down the land are having the best Christmas ever. I don’t think there is a nation that celebrates Christmas in quite the style and with such vigour as Britain, which presents us with great opportunities that bring glad tidings to us all.

It is a little early to crack the Champagne, but I’m getting an inkling we can put some on ice! This Christmas promises to break all our records – if the weather holds, our nerves don’t get too frayed and our knees will support us for yet another round of mince pies. Come on, Team Konditor & Cook, we can do it!!!

Let’s just hope the buoyant mood continues in 2015. January is always a tricky month for us. With everyone making New Year’s resolutions and going on diets, it’s the toughest month of the year and I have yet to develop a cake that ticks all the boxes in terms of texture, taste and satisfaction that can also be slimming…

We will get over January, but how will the cocoa shortage, as reported in British Baker, affect us? It takes no Einstein to work out that increased demand meeting a shortage of supply can only lead to price rises. I’m hoping we don’t have to pass this on to our customers, but can make savings in other areas. Margins, as always, need to be constantly monitored even in the New Year.

Once Valentine’s Day is upon us, the mood begins to lighten. This February we are going to have some fun and will surprise our customers with some wild Valentine’s baking, inspired by Cupid’s ‘Animal Attraction’.

It’s also going to be the month we bring our cakes to a new audience as we look forward to opening our next Konditor & Cook shop in Fitzrovia. In all the Christmas madness, we are busy finalising layouts and finishes for this new, exciting cake destination. Let it snow, let it snow — or should it be ‘when it rains, it pours’?

Britons are leading the world in online shopping and, as it turns out, quite a lot of them have a sweet tooth too. Throughout the year, the growth rates have been in double digits and, last week, we had our best online sales week ever. As the online business increases in popularity, it raises new challenges that will surely have to be addressed in the new year.

To cope with increased demand and expansion, we are also going to review our current production. Are we best off with a “hub and spoke” model or a much larger central production? What are the pros and cons? Answers on a postcard please!

It’s rather exciting to know that I won’t be finding a pair of slippers under the tree just yet.

Wishing everyone a Joyful Christmas and a prosperous 2015.